Submitted by Oswego County BOCES
With a dedication to community service and a focus on helping others, 19 Phoenix youth earned recognition during a ceremony at the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 5540 on Thursday night April 24.
Local dignitaries, school administrators and community representatives were on hand to commend the students for their dedication and volunteer service as part of the 18th annual President’s Youth Volunteer Service Award dinner.
“It’s an honor to be in the room with you,” said Brian Chetney, executive director of the Oswego City-County Youth Bureau. “This is a recognition program that honors tens of millions Americans who have made a commitment to sustained service … and you have all done your part.”
“Sustained” was the key word, as the honorees have devoted much of their free time to serving others. The juniors and seniors who received the silver distinction accumulated at least 300 volunteer hours, while the gold recipients tallied at least 500 hours.
For John C. Birdlebough High School students Meganne Murphy and Dylan Switzer, who each earned the Youth of the Year Award, volunteer service has been a way of life.
“I started in first grade as a Boy Scout,” said Switzer, who earned his Eagle Scout badge in October. “I remember helping out at the shows for winter guard because my sister was in it. Volunteering is something I enjoy.”
Murphy began her community service contributions almost a decade ago.
“I’ve been volunteering since fifth grade, I started out as a Bridge House Brat,” she said. “It makes me feel good that I can make a difference.”
Although that positive feeling is enough to satisfy Murphy and Switzer, the additional recognition Thursday night was equally satisfying and humbling, they said.
“I was really surprised because I didn’t expect to get anything from being so involved,” Murphy said. “It means a lot to me to know that I’ve made a difference in the community.”
Switzer echoed those sentiments.
“It’s a big honor,” he said. “Honestly, I don’t know how the selection committee made the decision. There are other people who were just as deserving as me.”
Birdlebough Principal Greg Molloy spoke about the Youth of the Year recipients and the qualities that contributed to them receiving the distinction.
Prior to presenting them with plaques, he lauded their volunteer spirit and commended them for their commitment to the community.
In addition to the Youth of the Year Award presentation, Superintendent Judy Belfield and Phoenix Board of Education President Earl Rudy congratulated the Gold and Silver Award recipients and presented them with commemorative pins and certificates.
“Your efforts will make you a well-rounded and a better person,” Rudy told the students.
Gold Award winners were James Benthin, Ben Bulgrien, Finella Campanino, Trever Ferens, Eric Hillpot, Maria Musumeci, Matthew Pelton, Paige Recore, Brian Stafford, Shaun Turner, Ryan Thorn and Olivia Uttamsingh. Silver Award recipients were Hailee Claycomb, Gianna Garofalo, Bailey Goldthwait, Hannah Lees and Jessica Lord.
By Ashley M. Casey
Bring your boots: rain or shine, young nature enthusiasts will be facing off tomorrow at the Oswego County Envirothon, held at Jellystone Park in Mexico.
Since 1991, the Oswego County Soil and Water Conservation District has sponsored the county’s Envirothon, a hands-on test of high school students’ knowledge of forestry, aquatics, soils, wildlife and current environmental issues.
The county winner goes on to the New York state competition. Last year’s county champion, Altmar-Parish-Williamstown, came in 11th of 49 teams at the state Envirothon.
“(Envirothon) encourages students to be more in tune with the environment and the natural resources in the county,” said Erica Schreiner, district educator of the Oswego County Soil and Water Conservation District and Envirothon Coordinator.
The competition consists of five 30-minute exams with 25 questions, plus a video presentation submitted prior to the event.
Teams of five students must properly identify trees, analyze soil and perform other tasks to demonstrate their environmental knowledge. Schools can send two teams of five with up to two alternates.
Local experts in each field create a new test for each subject each year. This year, the Oswego County branch of Cornell Cooperative Extension is covering the current issue of sustainable local agriculture.
Schreiner said Envirothon is an outdoorsy outlet to keep students engaged.
“It sparks their interest in something and gives them something to belong to,” she said. “It’s a great hands-on event.”
Some Envirothon participants pursue the interest after high school.
“A lot of them do go on to ESF (SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry) at Syracuse and other environmental colleges,” Schreiner said.
Jamie Hefti, adviser of two Envirothon teams at Pulaski, said one of his graduating senior “stars” will study biology at Harvard University and another is headed to Clarkson University for environmental engineering.
He said the competition’s individual focus helps prepares students for college, especially the oral video presentation.
“It’s so self-directed. It’s on them,” Hefti said. “When I watched them prepare for the oral part of it, I think it’s the most truly applicable skill for preparing for college that there is in high school.”
Hefti said he has a study area in his classroom for students to visit and borrow materials when they have a free period during the day. The students each become an “expert” on one of the subjects and coach each other.
“It’s really an awesome thing to observe,” he said.
Roxane Thormann and her husband, Rich, led the APW team to a surprise victory last year. The Thormanns volunteered to coach APW’s Envirothon team after their daughter’s beloved science teacher retired. Roxane Thormann said she and her husband, who are not teachers, faced a “big learning curve” in coaching the kids in environmental science.
“We were awestruck,” Thormann said of the 2013 win, which was APW’s first Oswego County Envirothon victory. “We didn’t have any idea we had it in us. (The team was) just flabbergasted.”
Catherine Celeste and Billie Jo Peterson are the co-advisers of the environmental club at Oswego High School The club is open to students in grades seven through 12, so it provides a “feeder group” of middle schoolers preparing for the high school Envirothon team.
“I have a lot of younger kids … getting some of the preparation long before they have a chance to compete in it,” Celeste said.
In addition to the Envirothon, Oswego’s environmental club focuses on eco-tourism, fundraising and cleaning up around the district.
“We hope, bottom line, that there’s a better appreciation for nature, and we want our students to be better earth stewards,” Celeste said. “Every year they’re going to Envirothon, I know they’re learning something they didn’t know before.”
She said her students have worked hard to prepare for Envirothon.
“I’m proud that we can get students who put the time in,” she said.
Missing from tomorrow’s competition is ten-time consecutive winner G. Ray Bodley High School. The Fulton school is not fielding a team this year. Bodley last won in 2012, but was ousted last year by APW.
“Due to new duties and responsibilities, I relinquished the helm and it just didn’t transfer well for the students,” former GRB Envirothon adviser Dan Mainville told The Valley News in an email. “Sadly there just wasn’t enough interest this year. Maybe next year.”
“We will definitely miss them, but it opens up opportunities for other schools to win,” Schreiner said of Bodley’s absence from the competition.
“It opens the door a little bit for us,” Celeste said. “My students are a little more motivated now because they feel they can be more competitive.”
“There’s always someone to replace Fulton,” Thormann said. “I’m sure there’s someone who wants to knock us off the pedestal. All the teams are tough.”
The Phoenix Central School District Board of Education approved the district’s 2014-2015 instructional calendar during a meeting March 24.
The calendar contains important testing dates and also includes holidays, vacations, professional development dates and teacher orientation days.
To view the instructional calendar, visit phoenixcsd.org/calendar.
The John C. Birdlebough Class of 1974 will be holding its 40th class reunion Friday Aug. 15 and Saturday Aug. 16.
The Class of 74 would also like to extend an invitation to the Classes of 1973 and 1974 to come together Friday evening after 9 p.m. at Dox Grill At Pirates Cove for an informal get together.
For more information, contact Laurie McGarry Digiulio at 457-4748 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
Four men are running for three open seats on the Phoenix school board this year.
- Paul Gilchrist, 15 Kline Drive., Pennellville
- Ryan Czyz, 2432 Lamson Road, Phoenix
- Keith Watkins, 8585 Bankrupt Road, Phoenix
- James Graham, 7 Whippoorill Lane, Pennellville
The term for the school board seats is three years.
The election is May 20. On that date, residents also will vote on the 2014-15 school budget.
Submitted by Oswego County BOCES
Songs filled the air in the John C. Birdlebough High School auditorium recently as the spring choral concert took center stage.
The Firebird Concert Chorus performed seven songs, with the final number, “The Argument,” bringing the audience to its feet.
Divided between male singers and females, the vocalists sang about the dynamic between the genders and the sources of contention that arise. The back-and-forth battle was a favorite among the students, said Director Brian Logee.
“They’ve been working on this for a while and they couldn’t wait to perform it for all of you,” Logee said after the thunderous applause.
In addition to the concert chorus, the chamber singers also belted out seven songs ranging from “Chili Con Carne” to “Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend.” The two ensembles wrapped up the program with a combined performance of “Set Me as a Seal.”
The spring concert also included featured soloists Meghan Lees and Maggie Balles, who each sang a song from the school’s spring musical, “Thoroughly Modern Millie.”
As of April 30, 2014, The Valley News will only accept classified advertisements for the Wednesday and Saturday print editions.
We will no longer publish classifieds online. To submit a classified ad, call us at 598-6397 or visit our office at 67 S. Second St., Fulton.
NU-2-U sale and bake sale is set for 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, May 2 at the Granby Center United Methodist Church, 420 County Route 3.
Available will be a large assortment of clothing for all ages. There also will be books, household items, knick-knacks, linens, small appliances, stuffed toys, taps and more.
The annual chicken barbecue sponsored By Friends of History in Fulton is set for 11:30 a.m. until sold out Sunday May 4 at the Pavilion at Bullhead Point.
The barbecue benefits the John Wells Pratt House Museum, local history museum, at 177 S. First St., Fulton. Eat in or take out.
For advance sale tickets, call 598-4616.
The Minetto Volunteer Fire Department will host its annual chicken barbecue from 11 a.m. until sold out April 26 at the fire station, 12 Barrett Drive, Minetto.
The dinner menu features ½ chicken, salt potatoes, baked beans, macaroni salad and a dinner roll. Customers can purchase a ½ chicken only also.
In addition there will also be a bake sale on site for customers to handpick a homemade dessert.
Dine-in and take-outs are available. Local delivery of five or more dinners may be arranged by contacting a Minetto Fire Department member by calling the fire station at 343-7566 on the day of the event.
There are no presale tickets available but customers can start calling ahead at 10 a.m. on April 26. The event benefits the fire department.
For more information, call Aleisha Bennett at 343-7566. For more information on the Minetto Fire Department or to find out how to join please visit www.minettofd.com
The Palermo United Methodist Church will host its chicken and biscuit dinner from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Thursday, May 1 in the church dining room.
This is a family-style, all-you-can-eat dinner including chicken and gravy, biscuits, mashed potatoes, salad, vegetable, dessert and beverage.
Takeouts are available and can be reserved by calling 598-4888
The church is located on County Route 35 just off of State Route 3 in Palermo, just north of Palermo Center.
The Amboy 4-H Environmental Education Center will present a public program about the American woodcock at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 1, (rain date May 2).
American woodcock advertise courtship intentions by strutting about and emitting a series of nasal peents. With a final “peent,” the male launches into an enthralling flight display to attract hens.
Following a short presentation of woodcock natural history with Pat Carney, facility’s naturalist, attendees will venture to a singing ground to observe and listen to the serenade of this twilight troubadour.
Other spring heralds also will regale us with evening ballads. Program participants should dress for an evening spring walk by wearing jackets, boots and shoes that can get wet and/or muddy.
Assemblyman Will Barclay will host an American Red Cross blood drive from 1 to 5 p.m. Friday, May 2 at Believer’s Chapel in Fulton.
Anyone is welcome to donate. To schedule an appointment for the May 2 blood drive in Fulton, call the Red Cross at 343-0967 or sign up online, visit http://www.redcrossblood.org/donating-blood and click on “Schedule an Appointment.”
It takes about 8-10 minutes to give blood with a total time to register and replenish with provided snacks of about an hour and 15 minutes. Donors are encouraged to eat well and hydrate prior to appointment.
An immigrant farmworker who works on an Upstate dairy and an organizer for a local workers’ center will speak at noon Sunday, May 4 at First Universalist Society of Central Square as part of a statewide speaking tour aimed at improving the lives of immigrant farmworkers.
The talk and a brief slideshow will be given by Jose Canas, who is originally from El Salvador, and Rebecca Fuentes, of West Monroe, who is lead organizer for the Syracuse-based Workers’ Center of Central New York.
Canas works at a dairy in Northern New York. Fuentes is the daughter of a farmworker from Mexico.
The program also is part of the Voices for Worker Equality speaker and film series organized by the church, state Route 49 just west of U.S. Route 11, and the workers’ center.
The statewide campaign will include several other dairy farmworkers and is being organized by the workers’ center along with Worker Justice Center of New York, in Rochester.
It coincides with Worker Memorial Day on April 25, May Day on May 1 and Farmworker Advocacy Day on May 5.
The local talk is free, but donations will be accepted to support the workers’ center. Light refreshments will be served.
Girls and boys ages 12-15 are invited to the Montezuma Audubon Center for up to three weeks of Sportsman Education this summer.
Young hunters will get their hunter safety, bow safety and waterfowl identification certificates in three weeks of hands-on learning and outdoor experiences.
The camps will run from July 14 through 31 (Monday-Thursday for each course).
Each week will feature classroom-style learning, covering the basics of each course, enhanced by hands-on outdoor field lessons including orienteering, canoeing, tracking and more.
Participants will also take part in conservation projects that enhance habitats for game and non-game species.
Fee per camper: $100 for one week, $190 for two and $270 for all three. Major support for this program is provided by Bass Pro Shops.
Space is limited and registration is required. Registration forms can be found at http://ny.audubon.org/montezuma. For more information, call 365-3588 or email email@example.com.
Week 1 – Hunter Safety – July 14-17
Week 2 – Bow Safety – July 21-24
Week 3 – Waterfowl ID – July 28-July 31
For more information about the Sportsman Camp or the Montezuma Audubon Center, visit http://ny.audubon.org/montezuma.
The First Congregational Church of New Haven is holding an eat-in or take-out dinner from noon until gone Saturday, May 3.
Preorders are available to be picked up between noon and 2 p.m.
The dinner will contain ½ chicken, pulled pork, pasta salad, salt potatoes, roll and butter. Call 963-3118 and leave a message with your name, phone number and the number of dinners you want. You will receive a call back to confirm your order and to make arrangements for you to buy the tickets needed for your dinner(s).
The church is located at 4250 State Route 104 in New Haven. The church is just west of County Route 6.
The youth group at St. Stephen’s Catholic Church in Phoenix is having a garage sale from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. May 17.
The youth group also is asking people to donate bottles and cans as part of the sale.
The youths are raising money for a trip to Steubenville, Ohio for a youth rally with about 40,000 other teens. The event, at the Franciscan Univerity of Steubenville, is focused on connecting teens to the sacraments.
There is going to be a drop off area for the bottles and cans on the day of the garage sale in the parking lot behind St. Stephen’s Church. There is also a drop off spot right next to the church if people would like to drop off before or after the garage sale.
Those dropping off should tell the bottle and can business they are dropping off for Team Awesomess of St. Stephen’s church.
The Oswego County Health Department will hold a rabies clinic for cats, dogs and pet ferrets from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, May 7, at the Oswego County Highway Garage, 957 Centerville Road.
“Immunizing pets is an effective way to reduce the risk of human exposure to rabies,” said Jiancheng Huang, Oswego County Public Health Director.
State law requires that all cats, dogs and pet ferrets be vaccinated against rabies. The first rabies vaccine should be given at three months of age.
A second vaccination is required for cats and dogs within one year of the first, and every three years thereafter. Ferrets need to be vaccinated annually.
In order for pets to receive the 3-year booster shot, owners need to show that the pet was previously vaccinated and should bring their pet’s last rabies vaccination certificate to the clinic.
Friendly’s Restaurant, 192 W. Bridge St., Oswego, will host a Family Fun Day fundraiser Thursday, May 8, to support the Friends of Fort Ontario in preserving and enhancing one of the nation’s most historic military sites.
Between 8 a.m. and 10 p.m., 15 percent of the day’s proceeds will go to the Friends group to support programming, restoration, and AmeriCorps staff at Fort Ontario State Historic Site.
Customers who call Friendly’s at 342-2233 20 minutes in advance may have their order ready for pickup.
In order to participate, customers must bring a copy of the Friendly’s Fort Ontario voucher. The voucher is available on the Friends of Fort Ontario Website (www.fortontario.com), Man in the Moon Candies on West First Street in Oswego, and at the fort on May 3 during I Love My Park Day.
Friends of Fort Ontario is a not-for-profit 501(c)3 educational organization chartered by the State Education Department to support efforts to preserve, enhance, and promote Fort Ontario State Historic Site.
For more information, call Nicole Popp at 430-3336, or Historic Site Manager Paul Lear at 343-4711.
The Four Seasons Quilters will present its annual quilting demonstration with Pat Knoechel of “Quilt in a Day” at 6:30 p.m. Friday, May 9 at the Lycoming Methodist Church, located at the intersection of County Route 29 and Miner Road, Scriba.
Parking is available across the road from the church. Knoechel’s sister, Eleanor Burns, has new patterns to share including “Nouveau Wedding Ring” and “Pineapple” with twists for modern quilters.
There also will be door prizes, drawings, refreshments and as always, a good time. Tickets are $5 and are available at the door or by calling Susan Bartlett (298-53460), Barbara Snell (343-5998), Leeann Green (342-3400) or Kerry Barnes (342-0866).
The Pennellville United Methodist Church, 389 County Route 54 in Pennellville will have its last dinner of the season at 4 p.m. Saturday, May 10.
The menu will consist of roast pork, dressing, mashed potatoes, gravy, beans, coleslaw, rolls and butter. Attendees also can choose from a wide selection of pies and other desserts. Coffee, tea, cool aid and water will also be available.
The dinner is served family style. Music will be provided while you wait to be seated. The ladies from the church also have a variety of crafts and goodies for sale. There is a large supply of used books available at reasonable prices.
The next dinner will be Sept. 13.